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Guest Aloysius

'08 Offseason Redux

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Guest Aloysius

I know Shep and a couple other guys here joined me on the Bring Kalimba to Cleveland bandwagon this offseason. Like Shaun Rogers, Kalimba seemed to be an athletically gifted player whose talent was wasted on an uber-crappy Lions squad.

 

Apparently, we were right.

 

Edwards has already notched 5 sacks this season, despite being hampered by an ankle injury earlier in the year. So far, he's gotten to the QB more than big money FA's Calvin Pace (3.5 sacks) and Travis LaBoy (4.0 sacks) have.

 

A lot of credit has to go to the Raiders' coaching staff. Last year, they turned specials guy Chris Clemons into a dynamic pass-rusher (8.0 sacks), and they appear to be working the same magic on Edwards.

 

And though Alex Hall's emergence has been great, I think Kalimba Edwards will end up joining Jameel McClain on the list of guys I really wish Phil had brought in.

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Guest mz.

That Edwards has those 5 sacks, Alo, is even more impressive when one takes into consideration the fact that Rob Ryan is almost as allergic to the blitz as Tucker is...

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Guest Aloysius

Great point. And Ryan will have an interesting decision to make once Burgess gets healthy about splitting up playing time.

 

When I watched Edwards play, he looked like a perfect fit for 3-4 OLB. In the Thanksgiving game last year, he dropped into coverage on one play and absolutely clobbered one of Green Bay's TE's.

 

Though he's having some success in Oakland's 4-3, I can't help but feel like he could be even better in a 3-4.

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Guest mz.

And he'd most certainly have been a better fit/better way to spend our $ than Corey Williams.

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Guest Aloysius

Yeah, I was wondering about that today. Though Williams had a nice pass deflection, Ray Rice's longer runs seemed to be all towards his side of the field.

 

That could end up being a big problem for us: Williams gets manhandled by one guy, then Andra Davis is too slow to stop the RB racing past him.

 

And I couldn't tell for sure on the online stream, but it seemed like Marques Douglas was playing pretty well for the Ravens. He was a cheap 3-4 DE option we could have pursued, but he ended up signing with Tampa, then getting traded to Baltimore.

 

Williams is younger, bigger, and a better pass-rusher than Douglas, but is he a better 3-4 DE? I'm not sure.

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I haven't finished watching the game yet (followed it on the computer at work) but even just watching the first quarter, it's becoming more and more obvious that Corey Williams is at best disappointing and at worst a true bust.

 

On the first Ravens drive, on 3rd and 6, Wimbley and Pool both overran Rice after a catch out of the backfield and he cut back towards the middle of the field. Williams had a shot at him but instead of following up the play at full speed, he was jogging back towards it.

 

EVery time I key on him, I'm disappointed in what I see. He lacks fat, slow and, like that play, lazy.

 

His lack of effort is even more apparent compared to Rogers and Hall going full-speed out there. I hope I'm wrong about him, because we could really use another D-lineman to make some plays, but it's not looking good.

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In defense of Williams,he does not practice all week. His shoulder is that bad. He

would probably go on IR for the year if Robaire Smith wasn't already down. He is

gutting it out. You are right though, he hasn't made any kind of impact on the defense.

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Guest Aloysius

Both da's make great points, but what I'm most interested in is whether Williams' problems were predictable.

 

When I watched him play in Green Bay, I saw a guy whose play relied on using his quickness to penetrate & get after the passer. But as a 320 pound "speed rusher", he only got sacks when he was used situationally; IIRC, he notched only 1 sack in the 7-8 games he started last year.

 

Maybe you guys can explain it to me, but I don't get how that type of player translates well to 3-4 DE. He can't use his quickness as much when he's responsible for two gaps, and he's playing too much for his speed moves to work when pass-rushing.

 

It could all be about injuries to Williams & other players, but all I see a guy who doesn't seem to be getting the job done. And considering how Marques Douglas looks fine in Baltimore, I'm wondering if he would have been a better (& ridiculously cheaper) option.

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Guest Aloysius

More of McClain (from PFW):

 

The Ravens are high on undrafted rookie OLB Jameel McClain, who has flashed some pass-rush ability since entering the defensive rotation in Week Eight. A source close to the club says the 6-1, 250-pound McClain, who attended Syracuse, is a credit to the diligence of the club’s scouts, who have long shown an ability to find late-round and undrafted steals.

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Guest Aloysius
Alo, if you want to get a head start on your next SU love, check out Junior NT/DT Arthur Jones.

I watched the game against Pitt earlier this year, and Jones was one of the (few ;) ) 'Cuse guys who stood out.

 

I also liked Mike Holmes. He had a series of nice returns, and showed the toughness & speed to be a nickel back/backup FS in the pro's. But he's only a sophomore, so we'll both have to wait a while before pimping him.

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even richard seymour disappeared when he was injured. like many positions in the 3-4, DE requires a specific type of athlete: someone who's both strong enough to hold the point of attack but also quick enough to move laterally if called on to do so.

 

williams is that kind of athlete. it's just hard to play up to your potential as a defensive linemen and stand people up when you're playing with one arm.

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I'm not sure it's all about player personal. We have some decent players. But if they aren't utilized properly, you won't see the results we want. Granted some players are so dominate that they will succeed despite the defensive schemes. But on average, players need to be put in a position to succeed and so far, I don't think the Browns are doing that.

 

Tucker is over his head as DC. They moved him up to fast. They should of expanded his responsibilities, but not give him the DC job. Maybe in a few years. Especially when you had Ron Rivera (sp?) available. But it seems that the Browns don't want to have experience talent on the coaching staff that could compete against RAC if he was to fail.

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Guest Aloysius
Alo, if you want to get a head start on your next SU love, check out Junior NT/DT Arthur Jones.

 

I realize Hammond and Co. on NBC were fellating him on Saturday, but this guy has been amazing all season. Plus, he's a really nice kid who we know won't quit on a team, even one as bad as the one he's on.

From SI's Draft Risers & Sliders

 

Arthur Jones/DT/Syracuse: The junior is another who shone brightly during a very dreary campaign for the Orange. He was outstanding during the team's upset victory at Notre Dame, making 15 tackles, including four tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks. Jones is expected to enter April's draft, where he will be a top 60 selection.

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How about we start with trading DA to the Cowboys for a 1st round pick, package that pick with BQ and trade for MIA's #1 overall (or to ATL) and a 3rd and draft Ryan and best available. Trade BE to the Cards for Bolden. Now that we have a crystal ball to work with anyway.

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Guest mz.
Arthur Jones/DT/Syracuse: The junior is another who shone brightly during a very dreary campaign for the Orange. He was outstanding during the team's upset victory at Notre Dame, making 15 tackles, including four tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks. Jones is expected to enter April's draft, where he will be a top 60 selection.

 

I was hoping he'd stay, but why would he? He is going to make some lucky NFL team very, very happy. Here's to hoping it's us.

 

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Guest Aloysius

nfldraftscout has him projected a little less high than SI; they see him as a Round 3-4 guy.

 

If so, I could definitely see us taking him, especially if we somehow manage to get a late 3rd Round pick for DA.

 

But if he goes top 60, I'm not sure we can prioritize taking another 3-4 DE over some of our other needs (ILB, OLB, CB, OL).

 

I guess it all depends on how good Jones is. From the little I've seen, he does look pretty impressive.

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Guest mz.

I hesitate to oversell Jones here, but distinguishing yourself game after game in mostly losing efforts is pretty impressive.

 

I do agree 3-4 DL is not one of our top priorities, 1) unless we decide to not pay Williams' offseason roster bonus, or 2) we take care of ILB/CB in 1 and 2 and Jones falls.

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Guest Aloysius

3-4 DE could become a big need. It's just too hard to tell because we don't know

  • As you mentioned, if Corey Williams will be back next year (I assumer he will)
  • How Robaire Smith is recovering from his torn Achilles' (usually a career-ender for a guy his age)
  • Whether Ahtyba Rubin is developing well enough to let us experiment with Shaun Rogers at DE
  • If the young waiver guys (Louis Leonard, Santonio Thomas) are part of our long-term plans
  • If Phil likes any of the FA options (Colin Cole and Antwan Lake could be two cheap 3-4 DL options)
On top of that, we don't even know if we'll be playing a 3-4 defense next year.

 

So we don't know enough yet, though it does seem like Jones is a solid player.

 

I liked this comment by Cinci's coach:

 

"I remember him from last year. You can't single block him," said Kelly, whose Bearcats held off Pitt 28-21 on Saturday. "With the combination of size and speed, he's going to make a lot of plays, no matter whether you're in the Big East or the SEC. He's that caliber of a player. He's going to play on Sunday (in the NFL)."

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while i think 3-4 DE will be a need for us next year if we stick with our current defensive alignment, rubin will have to really come on for the staff to think about moving rogers to DE. big baby's just too good in the middle, the most important position in the 3-4, to risk having him be less effective on the outside.

 

even if rubin's good in the middle and rogers is good at DE, it's not a good swap because rogers is effing dominant inside. there's not a center in the league who can handle him on a consistent basis.

 

jones sounds like a good prospect and someone to keep an eye on though i doubt we'll be able to get him. let's not forget that we don't have a third-rounder this year unless we acquire one in the offseason. MLB, OLB and possibly S are far more pressing concerns than DE.

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Guest Aloysius
And I couldn't tell for sure on the online stream, but it seemed like Marques Douglas was playing pretty well for the Ravens. He was a cheap 3-4 DE option we could have pursued, but he ended up signing with Tampa, then getting traded to Baltimore.

 

Williams is younger, bigger, and a better pass-rusher than Douglas, but is he a better 3-4 DE? I'm not sure.

Also not sure anyone's interested in this, but PFW posted this report on Douglas:

 

The Ravens’ acquisition of DE Marques Douglas late in the preseason has turned out to be a wise one, the way we hear it. Douglas, 31, started 32 games for the Ravens from 2001-04 before signing with the 49ers. After three seasons in San Francisco, he signed with the Buccaneers, but he was traded before he even played a regular-season game with his new club. Douglas, who’s strong vs. the run, notched 36 tackles for Baltimore in the regular season. He can play end in either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme, which gives the Ravens’ schematic flexibility if needed.

I still have trouble understanding why Savage didn't show any interest in this guy. Maybe it had something to do with RAC wanting DE's who are as big as him, which Douglas (6'2", 292 lbs.) isn't.

 

Anyway, I guess there's reason for optimism: Kokinis probably played a big role in the Ravens trading for Douglas.

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Guest mz.

From the 'Al Davis Made Me Look Bad' File:

That Edwards has those 5 sacks, Alo, is even more impressive when one takes into consideration the fact that Rob Ryan is almost as allergic to the blitz as Tucker is...

Am I the only one who feels he's schizophrenic at times?

 

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